Evident, a new wholly owned subsidiary of Olympus comprised of its former Life Science and Industrial divisions, unveiled the winners of its third Global Image of the Year Life Science Light Microscopy Award, an annual competition that recognizes the best in life science imaging. The winners were selected from nearly 800 images submitted from 49 countries around the world.
The Global Winner | Jan Martinek
Jan Martinek from the Czech Republic was selected as the global winner for a glowing image of an Arabidopsis thaliana flower with pollen tubes growing through the pistil. The flower tissues were chemically cleared to reveal the pollen tubes stained with aniline blue (yellow fluorescence). Martinek chose to image this flower to highlight the beauty of science in plant cell research.
“Plants are fascinating and beautiful on all levels of magnification, from the level of ecosystems to the level of individual cells,” Martinek explained. “As a plant cell biologist, I spend hours looking at plants under the microscope. I see a lot of beautiful images, like this flower of Arabidopsis thaliana with pollen tubes growing through the pistil to fertilize the ovules. However, I capture hundreds of pictures like this just to measure the lengths of the pollen tubes, and readers of my research articles will see only some boxplots comparing the pollination efficiency of different mutants. I share these pictures on my social media for fellow scientists and the general public to enjoy the beauty of science, which sometimes stays hidden behind the statistically significant results. I am happy that thanks to the IOTY Award, my and others' pictures of this fascinating microcosm get worldwide attention.”
Martinek will receive the grand prize, an Olympus SZX7 stereo microscope with a DP28 digital camera.
Three regional prizes were awarded to Vasilis Kokkoris (the Netherlands) for EMEA, Ivan Radin (USA) for the Americas and Daniel Han (Australia) for Asia. Each regional winner will receive an Olympus CX23 upright microscope.
Honorable mentions include Di Lu (China), Yujun Chen (USA), Mingyue Jia (China), David Maitland (UK), Layra Cintron-Rivera (USA), Igor Siwanowicz (USA) and Yayun Wang (China).
The contest launched on Oct. 19, 2021, with a call for users to submit their best life science microscopy images through Jan. 31, 2022. All entries were evaluated on artistic and visual aspects, scientific impact and microscope proficiency.
From flowers to fungus and ferns, the Evident Life Science team was impressed by the fascinating specimens masterfully captured under the microscope.
“I continue to be amazed by the creative images we see each year that turn life under the microscope into unique art pieces,” said Satoshi Nakamura, Vice President of Scientific Solutions Global Marketing at Evident. “We are honored to receive so many stunning captures from around the world that visually blend artistic creativity and science. The winning images create a beautiful image gallery showcasing an incredible level of talent and technique at the microscope.”